Periwinkle growing in the hawthorn hedge.

THE NEW POND has become disputed territory and there’s a continuing battle between rival Blackbirds. Not only does the sparkling new pond serve as a prominent landmark, it’s also a valuable resource for nesting materials. A female Blackbird appeared to be gathering mud from between rocks we’ve put around the pond to anchor the liner. The mud cup in a Blackbird’s nest is further lined with dry grasses.

The Blue Tits are popping in and out of the nest box but we saw a large bumblebee fly to the hole and crawl inside, so I wonder who will end up in possession.

To the left of the pond I originally tried to create a bog area but I could never get it to work in practice and it never became anything in particular, just whatever became established which might include teasel and hosta but was just as likely to include bramble and hogweed, both of which have their value for wildlife but they can begin to take over.

We’ve levelled the area off ready for turfing, ideally with a wild flower lawn turf, but until we roll that out the House Sparrows are enjoying dust-bathing in the finely raked soil.

I started this mainly wildlife sketchbook in May last year. Hopefully I'll be well into my next wildlife sketchbook by May this year.

It was cooler than I expected this afternoon as I sat in the sun drawing the Periwinkle growing near the rhubarb at the foot of the hedge but it made me feel as if I was at last getting my life where I want it to be. Instead of constructing ponds, creating raised beds and weeding, it is at last getting to the stage where I can relax a bit and just enjoy being out there. Hopefully my sketchbook will start to reflect the arrival of spring.

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